Monday, May 16, 2016

Meet Rachel from Servant Ceramics

Well it's no secret that I am a huge fan of all things clay and one of my favourite clay artist's is none other than the ever so sweet Rachel from Servant Ceramics.

Hi Rachel, thanks in advance for answering a few questions for us.

Were you creative as a child?

I always seemed to have my hands in something messy as a child - paint, pencils, baking...

Do you come from a creative family?

Both my parents were very supportive, especially my Dad who likes to dabble with sketching and watercolour landscapes. 

How would you describe your work?

I would describe my ceramic work as functional,  practical and unique vessels that enhance everyday living. 

Ideally, they become part of daily life and ensure that the user never eats or drinks alone but act as a reminder of community, resilience and grace. 

How has your work evolved since you started?

 I now have work with handles! 

Originally, I avoided handles as they are a true test of a potter's skills as they combine functionality and aesthetics. 

I have added additional glaze colours and have explored gold lustre and decal transfers too. And there's still so much I want to bring in as well but, you know, time!!

How did you start selling on Etsy?

I started selling on Etsy a couple of years ago after participating in Jess Van Den's Set Up Shop course.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm always inspired by people who are chasing down their dreams and just keep trying despite enormous odds and difficult life circumstances.

Do you reduce, reuse, recycle as part of your creative process?  

I do my best to recycle as much clay as I can in my making process. It makes so much sense!

Describe your studio/workspace?

My potters wheel is set up in a small sunroom-turned studio space at home. I glaze and fire my wares at a friend's studio as I am renting and my landlord won't allow me to have my own kiln set up. 

But I do have a small gas kiln that I'm trying to get up and running at my parents' house out at Redcliffe. 

Do you have a favourite thing to make?

I love my cupping cups - they are simple but so satisfying to make and to use! 

How did your business name come about?

My business name was chosen for two main reasons - my wares are service based vessels but I also knew that I could easily get overwhelmed and all-consumed by the demands of running one's own small business so it is a constant reminder of who is master and who is servant. 

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

I have taken on a new project this year that has significantly reduced my studio time but I am looking at developing more collaborative ranges and introducing new clay bodies into my regular lines. 

Describe your typical creative day?

My typical creative day would be an early start with a good couple of throwing hours, early lunch and social media check with an afternoon of turning, altering and decorating. 

Do you like to listen to Music while creating?

I tend to throw and turn better in silence as it allows me to stay better connected with the clay but I do like listening to podcasts when glazing - like Tales of the Red Clay Rambler. 

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

At the last BrisStyle Twilight Market, I picked up on of Thorogami's yarn Cacti which I LOVE!!!! It's perfect for a black thumb like me - I can't even keep herbs alive!

Where can we find you online?

Via my Etsy shop and I am also in the Collective Store (at Wynnum). 

How long have you been a member of brisstyle?

I joined BrisStyle soon after I moved up from Melbourne so about 4 years ago.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

I found out about BrisStyle through a Brisbane City Council brochure promoting their library information sessions. One about setting up a market stall - it was just what I wanted and needed at the time.

Why did you become a member?

I joined BrisStyle to connect with like-minded creatives and to sell at their markets. 
BrisStyle has and continues to have such a good reputation for cultivating and promoting handmade makers and artisans. 

But the reason why I stay a member is because I want to stay connected with these fabulous makers and support them. 

The encouragement and friendships I've formed are indispensable in life and I just want to give back to an organisation that has given me so much! 

Why do you craft?

I believe I was created to create ...and I get cranky if I don't. I especially love working with such a primal material as clay and creating something with permanency and innate usefulness.